What You Should Know About Workplace Accidents and Injury Compensation in Queensland
There are jobs that are simply dangerous by nature, so in this situation it is important to ensure the safety of the workplace as well its workers. There are other jobs that aren’t dangerous in nature, and this is where employers need to take into consideration the overall health and wellbeing of employees.
Workplace injuries happen, and when they do they can be devastating for the worker and their families. There are laws in place to protect workers from workplace hazards and assist them if they are injured during the course of their employment.
Here are the things you should know about workplace accidents and what to do in case it happens to you:
The Industrial Relations Act of Queensland sets out requirements for employers to ensure workplace safety. The following are the mandated provisions:
- Employers should provide a safe working environment for workers, which includes facilities and work systems;
- Employers should ensure that workers are able to handle equipment and substances. A safe area to store harmful materials should also be provided;
- Proper training, supervision, instruction and information in the performance of the workers’ roles should be provided.
The Act also imposes an obligation to protect workers, which extends to ensuring that they are not harassed or bullied in the workplace. An employer’s failure to ensure workplace safety poses a large penalty.
Workers are also mandated to act so as not to cause harm or danger to other workers in the workplace.
Injury Compensation - What to do when injury occurs?
There are general guidelines to be followed to be able to receive injury compensation. Injuries include those that happen at work, as well as travel to and from work, and any travel associated with the job. Here are guidelines:
- You should notify your employer and insurer within 48 hours;
- Seek medical attention;
- Contact WorkCover if you require medical treatment or time off work;
- Complete all the necessary compensation forms.
Types of injuries you can claim for
Workplace injuries can range from simple injuries, through to serious illnesses and injuries such as amputations, bone fractures and brain injuries. You can also claim for psychological injuries brought about by witnessing a traumatic event in the workplace.
Injuries that you can claim for include:
- Those that occurred at or as a result of work and during work hours. This includes injuries that occurred whilst on lunch break.
- Diseases that are caused by work, or pre-existing diseases that are worsened because of work.
- Injuries that are suffered whilst travelling to and from work or any work-related travel.
General elements of a successful claim
In order to make a successful workplace injury claim, you have to demonstrate that your employment is a significant contributing factor to the injury. The following are the determining factors in assessing whether an injury is work-related:
- The particular task in question and its duration;
- Whether or not the illness or injury is heredity;
- Likelihood that the injury occurred outside the duration of employment.
What type of personal injuries are not covered by workplace injury laws?
- If you are intoxicated (by drugs or alcohol) on the job, you will not be entitled to any compensation.
- If you have stress-related injuries in relation to a demotion or disciplinary action, it is more probable than not that you will not be covered. This also applies to self-inflicted injuries.
- It should be noted, on the other hand, that stress related injuries resulting from bullying or harassment in the workplace may result in a potential claim.
- Further, even if you are injured because you disregarded your employers’ instructions in conducting your work safely, you may still be eligible to some injury compensation based on the facts of each individual situation.
Employers’ duties to injured workers
If you are legitimately injured during the course of your employment, then you must be given assistance during the rehabilitation process. Having said this, you must ensure that you participate fully in all the requirements of the rehabilitation process for you to continuously receive compensation.
It is also unlawful for your employer to terminate your employment within a certain period if you were legitimately injured during your employment.
Compensation to expect in a workers’ compensation claim
If you legitimately suffered an injury during your employment, you are entitled to a range of compensation benefits by making a claim. Your personal injury compensation lawyer will do their best to achieve the most successful outcome for your situation. You can claim compensation for the following:
- Pain and suffering, which includes the loss of quality of life;
- Immediate and future medical expenses;
- Loss of present and future earnings.
Acceptance of quick settlement
There will be instances that you will be offered a quick settlement for your work injury claim. It’s the insurer’s aim to settle a claim for the least possible amount of money. Whilst this might sound appealing to you since it guarantees money, there are reasons why you shouldn’t. These include reasons include:
Denial of fair compensation
Bringing a claim means you want to have the right compensation for your personal injury. The only way to determine this is to know all the details of the injury, costs and other related factors such as calculation of future losses. This information is usually not readily available, it usually takes months. So, a quick settlement could mean that this important data is left out, so your offer will be considerably smaller.
One time deals
Once you agree to settle your claim, you can’t go back to the insurer such as WorkCover should you learn that your injuries were worse than initially anticipated, or that surgery is required. You will be solely responsible for your future medical expenses.
Having a workplace injury claim can be a very complex process, so it is best that you seek legal assistance for your injury compensation. You can do so by contacting us at The Personal Injury Lawyers by phone, email or Livechat.
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